Canon 17-120 T2.9-3.9 w/ Servo Grip


This is Canon’s first 35mm zoom lens with servo handgrip for documentary, handheld or ENG.

Canon’s 17-120 mm T2.9-3.9 zoom seems impossibly small for a lens that can deliver superb image quality with so much range.

The servo focus/iris/zoom handgrip detaches with 3 screws. When re-installed, there’s no need for manual re-alignment.

I tried out a prototype 17-120 at AbelCine just as we were going to press, and took these photos with the help of Jeff Lee, AbelCine, and Ryan Kamata, Canon.

The lens motors inside the handgrip are quiet and extremely quick. The focus barrel can whip from M.O.D. (Minimum Object Distance) to infinity in 1.6 seconds. The rocker switch in the handgrip is comfortable, sensitive, and offers smoothly feathered starts and stops. You can zap zoom in a blazingly quick .5 seconds, or dial it down to 300 seconds for that slow zoom in title sequence landscape shot.

Lens communicates with camera a number of ways. There’s a familiar broadcast lens style 12-pin serial connector. Cooke /i Technology metadata is supported when using /i equipped PL mount lenses. An added benefit of Cooke /i on PL lenses is that its contacts can also power the focus, iris and zoom motors. Canon Cinema EOS lens data is also enabled, providing power, lens information as well as image compensation of shading and geometry when using  Canon EF mount lenses.

One of the most thoughtful touches is how the focus marks are engraved on the slanted part of the lens focus barrel, so you can see the distance with your left eye while shooting.

Canon EF Mount Model: CN7x17 KAS S/E1
PL Mount Model: CN7x17 KAS S/P1

  • Focal Length: 17-120 mm
  • Zoom Ratio: 7x
  • Maximum Aperture: T2.95 at 17-91 mm
  • ramp to T3.9 91-120 mm
  • Iris  Blades: 11
  • M.O.D: 0.85 m / 2.8’
  • Macro Function: Push button control
  • Front Diameter: 114 mm
  • Approx. Weight: 2.9 kg / 6.4 lb
  • Approx Width: 174.2 mm
  • Approx Height: 125 mm
  • Approx Length (EF): 262.9mm
  • Approx Length (PL): 254.9 mm
  • Focus Gear Pitch (forward / rear): 0.8 mm / 0.5 mm
  • Zoom Gear Pitch: 0.5 mm
  • Iris Gear Pitch: 0.4 mm
  • Fastest Focus Barrel Travel end to end: 1.6 sec
  • Fastest Zoom Barrel Speed: .5 sec
  • Slowest Zoom Barrel Speed: 300 sec
  • Metadata /i Technology
  • Canon EOS Lens Data
  • Angle of View
  • Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
  • (Sensor Dimensions: 24.6 x 13.8 mm)
  • At 17 mm: 71.8°x 44.2°
  • At 120 mm: 11.7°x 6.6°
  • Aspect ratio 1.9:1
  • (Sensor Dimensions: 26.2 x 13.8 mm)
  • At 17 mm: 75.2°x 44.2°
  • At 120 mm: 12.5°x 6.6°
  • Object Dimensions at M.O.D.
  • Aspect ratio 1.78:1
  • (Sensor Dimensions: 24.6 x 13.8 mm)
  • At 17 mm:  86.3 x 48.4 cm
  • At 120 mm: 12.0 x 6.7 cm
  • Aspect ratio 1.9:1
  • (Sensor Dimensions: 26.2 x 13.8 mm)
  • At 17 mm: 92.1 x 48.5 cm
  • At 120 mm: 12.7 x 6.7 cm
  • (M.O.D. is Minimum Object Distance from Image Plane)


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32 New Hawk Anamorphics


Things have been too quiet at Vantage. With all the recent news of new anamorphic lenses from A through Z (Angenieux, Cooke, Scorpio, ZEISS/ARRI) – the company in Weiden building Hawk anamorphics for the past 20 years has been uncharacteristically silent.

Peter Martin and Wolfgang Baumler, above, were smiling in Paris at Micro Salon a couple of months ago, but not saying anything.

Now we know why. Credible sources have confirmed with FDTimes (and Vantage continued smiling) that a massive launch of 32 totally new models of Hawk anamorphic lenses, in two sets, will be announced sometime this year. These two new sets are expected to include front anamorphic zooms, macros, and teles – intended for major motion picture productions that need many choices of focal lengths, apertures, and sizes.  As with previous Hawks, the new sets are designed and built by the same team in Weiden, Germany, and will have similar 2x anamorphic characteristics. Most of the sets will be rented through Vantage Film and their partners.



Look: Cooke NYC Test

New York Test of Cooke Anamorphics now on Vimeo.

Presented by Handheld Films, Cooke Optics, Goldcrest Post Production

Director/Cameraman Jon Fauer, ASC
Line Producer Marc Paturet
First Camera Assistant Timothée Arene
Second Camera Assistant Shaun Malkovich
Gaffer Jackson Lorentz
Grip Joe Janasiewicz

Camera, Lighting and Studio Hand Held Films NYC
Captured with ARRI Alexa Studio
Data ARRIRAW on Codex Onboard
Lenses Cooke Anamorphic/i 32, 40, 50, 75 mm T2.3

Lead Yogini Alison Cramer
Yogini #2 Stéphanie Landouer
Yogini #3 Essence Wall

Finishing Goldcrest Post Production NYC
Supervisor Tim Spitzer
Editor Ricardo Madan
Colorist John Dowdell

Original Score
Music Toby Harting

Special Thanks
Nick Quested, Ellison Santos, Les Zellan, Matthew Jaker, Li Yan Ping Zhu



Fujinon Cabrio 25-300 T3.5


Lens announcements are heating up today.

Fujinon announcement for NAB: a new 25-300 mm joins the growing Cabrio series PL zoom lens family. Its range extends beyond the familiar 10:1 ratio — offering a 12:1 zoom in a comfortable size and weight. It is intended to be used as an all-around zoom lens for exteriors, locations, action, aerials, sports, cars, running shots, as well as interiors.

With a size and weight comparable to the Fujinon Premier 24-180, the new Fujinon Cabrio 25-300 provides a longer range of focal lengths. A detachable digital servo drive unit with Focus, Iris and Zoom motors will be an option mid-year. The lens has rear flange focal depth adjustment. Macro (close-up) capability is available standard on the lens.

All Cabrios can connect for power and data to contacts in the lens mount of many PL cameras. All Cabrio drive units connect with familiar industry FIZ wireless and wired lens control systems. Also plug and play to Fujinon Broadcast style accessories for single operator/ pedestal applications. Optional power and control cables are available. The servo handgrip detaches with 4 screws. When re-attaching, the drive is self-centering.

Official Fujinon Model ZK12x25

  • Focal Length: 25-300
  • Mount: 35mm PL Mount
  • Zoom Ratio: 12x
  • Aperture: T3.5 from 25-273 mm
  • T3.85 at 300 mm
  • Iris Blades: 9
  • Focus Rotation: 280°
  • Zoom Rotation: 120°
  • Front Diameter: 136 mm
  • Length: 401 mm / 15.78”
  • Weight: approx 8.9 kg / 19.62 lb
  • M.O.D. (from Image Plane): 1.2 m / 3’11”
  • also Macro Mode
  • Object Dimensions at M.O.D
  • 1.78 : 1 Aspect Ratio 25 mm    937 x 527 mm
  • 300 mm  77 x 43 mm
  • Angular Field of View
  • 1.78 : 1 Aspect Ratio 25 mm       57° 32’ x 34°19’
  • 300 mm 5°14’ x 2°57’

NAB Booth C7025


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ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphics


The new ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic 135 mm MA will be shown at NAB.

The set made their debut at IBC Amsterdam in September 2012 with a 50 mm T1.9. The MA 35 mm T1.9 and 75 mm T1.9 were unveiled at NAB 2013, followed by the 100 mm T1.9 at IBC 2013, then the 40 mm T1.9 and 60 mm T1.9 at ZEISS Cine Lens Day in November 2013. The family will be complete when the MA 135 mm T1.9 is presented at NAB 2014. (Lens sets are rarely “complete.” DPs, like Oliver Twist, always ask for more.)

ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic lenses have an innovative optical design, with almost no breathing and minimal distortion. Anamorphic “mumps” (faces looking wider in close-ups) is automatically compensated by careful positioning of the cylindrical lens elements. There are 4 to 8 cylindrical elements in each lens. The optical design reduces chromatic aberrations and shading (darkening) at the corners of the image. Master Anamorphic lenses produce a smooth anamorphic bokeh, free of artifacts. The 15-blade iris helps create a bokeh that is elliptical (oval) and consistently illuminated. See the framegrabs (below).

The lenses are compact, light, and have a fast aperture of T1.9 at all focal lengths. They are typically “ZEISS” with reliable and durable mechanical construction. Improved protection against dust and spray means less downtime and fewer repairs.
The ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic lenses herald the return to an era of anamorphic big-screen productions at a new, previously unseen, level of quality.
ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic lenses were developed by ARRI and ZEISS, manufactured by ZEISS, and exclusively distributed by ARRI. So far, about 50 mini-sets (MA35, 50, 75) have been delivered to customers, with many more orders placed. The MA100 is shipping now, and the MA40 and MA60 ship around the end of March. The MA135 will follow after NAB.
Both ZEISS and ARRI will be showing the Master Anamorphics at NAB 2014.

  •           NAB booth C9042
  •                       NAB booth C4337
Sheng Lu, “I See”  (China) MA 50 mm

Sheng Lu, “I See” (China) MA 50 mm

Michel Abramowicz, AFC, “A trip to remember”  (France)  MA 50 mm

Michel Abramowicz, AFC, “A trip to remember” (France) MA 50 mm


Preview NAB Edition

Download a free 12-page PDF preview of Film and Digital Times’ NAB Edition.

But lots more is coming. The complete 96-page epic is brimming with new and up-to-now NDA (non-disclosure) products — printing in a secret location, delivering to NAB in undisclosed trucks, as usual, in time for opening day. Free copies of the printed edition will be found in our big publication bins at the entrances to Central Hall and  South Lower Hall. Also in our booth C10006 — usual spot — next to Sony and across Band Pro. And in the booths of most of our terrific sponsors.

Subscribers editions ship and online downloads begin on Monday, May 7.



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Pegasus2 R4 Thunderbolt JBOD


Use the 4 drives from your old Mac Pro with your new Mac Pro in a new Thunderbolt enclosure from Promise.

The Promise Pegasus2 R4 “Diskless” System lets us remove the 4 drives from an old Mac Pro tower and put them into the 4 drive trays of the Pegasus2 for Thunderbolt access on new Mac Pros and MacBook Pros.

We popped the drives in, plugged in the Thunderbolt cable, and the 4 drives painlessly appeared on the desktop the way they did in the past — as 4 separate icons. This JBOD mode (Just a Bunch Of Disks) is called Pass-Thru Mode by Promise, and it worked by default without any scary setup.

Promise calls this thing “Diskless” — they could call it BYOD – bring your own disks. You can purchase similar Pegasuses with drives and with more bays.

The drives go to sleep and wake up when the computer does. I think this could prove to be a very useful download-storage-cloning-backup data wrangling center for DITs on-set, dailies creators near-set, and editors evderywhere.

FDTimes had moved (“migrated,” “meandered”?) data to the LaCie 5big Thunderbolt (20 TB)  storage cube a few weeks ago. This solved the problem of where to put all those drives that previously lived inside the old Mac Pro but now were living like snails without their shells outside the new MacBook Pro and the yet to arrive new Mac Pro.

The only quibble was that pulling the old drives out of the old MacPro and installing them inside the with the LaCie 5big voided the warranty unless you purchased LaCie spare drives from 2 to 4 TB in hot-swappable trays.

Promise Pegasus2 R4 “Diskless” System is another excellent choice.


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Codex Action Cam



FDTimes begins a few online teasers and excerpts from our upcoming 96-page NAB edition.

Codex gets into the camera business. 

At NAB 2014, Codex Digital introduces Action CAM, a tiny camera with big potential.

Why is this so interesting and how is it different from itty bitty cameras that have come before? Look at the picture above and see what the cameras plug into. It’s a Codex Recorder and it looks very similar to a Codex Onboard S Recorder that’s no longer onboard, but has all the familiar features and controls, and accepts a standard Codex Capture Drive.

Codex Action CAM is a complete camera, capture, transcoding, recording and data management system for places and spaces where the “A” camera is just too big to fit.

The Codex Action CAM itself is a tiny remote camera head that shoots up to 60 fps. It comes packaged with the Codex Camera Control Recorder that delivers full remote control of the camera, along with the familiar features of the industry-standard Codex recorder.

Size: The Action CAM camera head measures just 45 x 42 x 53 mm / 1.7 x 1.6 x 2.1 in. The Codex Camera Control Recorder is only 83 x 139 x 188 mm / 3.3 x 5.5 x 7.4 in.

Weight: Camera set consisting of the recorder and two camera heads, weighs 1.5 kg. / 3.3 lb.

Connections: A single coax cable connects the base unit and camera head, carrying video, control signals and power. With industrial-grade cables, the base unit and camera head can be up to 180 meters / 590 ft apart.

CCD Sensor: Action CAM uses a Kodak 2⁄3″ CCD sensor. Codex reports great sensitivity, extended dynamic range, low signal-to-noise, temperature stability and no visible fixed-pattern-noise. A global shutter means there is no distortion of fast-moving objects.

Image: 14-bit image processing, 12-bit RAW output and Codex debayering.

Native Stereo 3D: Connect two camera heads to the Codex Camera Control Recorder, and the signals undergo the same image-processing. You get completely synchronous 3D output and identical image properties, such as white balance and contrast. This makes shooting S3D simple and straightforward, almost plug-and-play, saving time and money in post production.

Upgraded C-Mount: Action CAM makes back focus adjustment quick, easy and precise. It has a special mechanism with a sturdy locking lever, and an accurate back focus wheel that rotates independently of the lens mount. This makes it possible to quickly adjust the flange focal distance of C-Mount lenses.
NAB booth C6048


Clairmont gets Optimo Anamorphic


The first Angenieux Optimo Anamorphic 56-152 mm T4 zoom lens was just delivered to Clairmont Camera Hollywood. “We just checked it out and it looks great,” said a happy Denny Clairmont. “It’s ready to go out on any one of a number of anamorphic shows we’re prepping.”

This is a lightweight zoom with 2x anamorphic squeeze—approximately the size and weight of an Optimo 38-76.

  • Focal lengths: 56-152 mm
  • Aperture:  T4
  • Zoom ratio: 2.7x
  • Weight (approx.): 4.8 lb / 2.2 kg
  • Length: 210 mm
  • Minimum Focus (MOD):  2’1’’ / 0.63 m
  • Image coverage: 4 perf. scope + / 28.8 mm diagonal
  • Anamorphic squeeze: 2x

More info on the Angenieux website.

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Cooke Anamorphic Lens Designers


Cooke Optical Designers: Graham Cassely, Philip Watson, Iain Neil, Leo Chen, and Stephen Pope (Engineering Manager).


Cooke Mechanical Design Team: Kevin Warren, David Payne, Paul Nettleton, Kurtis Brooks, Catia Mao De Ferro.


Les Zellan,Chairman of Cooke Optics. Robert Howard, Managing Director. Alan Merrills, COO.

I visited Cooke Optics in Leicester, England the other day for a tour of the factory and to find out more about the Cooke Anamorphic lenses coming up at NAB. The result is an in-depth study in the April issue of FDTimes on how these anamorphic lenses are made — with a look at the teams who design, manufacture and assemble them. I should say I have never before had such complete and totally unrestricted access at any lens manufacturing company. Nothing was censored and there was no machine or process they weren’t proud to let me photograph. The only restriction was that the story remain NDA until today.

On that cold, rainy morning, I met with Les Zellan, Cooke Chairman, and the optical and mechanical designers. I had expected to be meeting with one designer or two…that’s been the usual procedure for previous FDTimes optical interviews.

Instead, a dozen designers entered the conference room on the second floor of the recently expanded Cooke factory.

I asked, “How many engineers do you have working on this project? I thought at most there would be one or two. I don’t think I have interviewed so many optical and mechanical designers in one place at one time. You have enough people to start a football team.”

Paul Nettleton replied, “We do have a football team. It’s called the Alpha Bokehs.”

The mechanical design group included: Kevin Warren, mechanical design engineer; David Payne, mechanical design engineer; Paul Nettleton, senior mechanical design engineer; Kurtis Brooks, mechanical design engineer; and Catia Mao De Ferro, mechanical design engineer.

The optical designers consisted of: Graham Cassely, Philip Watson, Leo Chen, Stephen Pope (engineering manager), and…Iain Neil. Iain Neil—what was he doing here?

Les Zellan explained, “We approached Iain Neil and luckily he was available and didn’t have any other anamorphic projects. Iain Neil is the optics technology consultant to Cooke and has been working on the anamorphic project. This team works well together and the proof is we’re going to be delivering the first 5 of our 7 anamorphic lenses at NAB 2014. Later this year, we will deliver the additional 2 announced focal lengths, 25 and 135 mm, and we’ll be announcing a few more. I think the set will finish with about 10 or so prime lenses.”

 To be continued…






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Micro Salon Italia 2014

 [fsg_gallery id="1"]

The 2nd annual Micro Salon Italia took place this year a few weeks after the original Paris Micro Salon. Staged at Rome’s Cinecittà Studios, which is now its usual venue, it attracted  Italian and leading international manufacturers, distributors and rental companies. Everyone supported the AIC in expanding from last year’s Stage 1 to Stage 1 and 2, with a total of 3,000 sq mt of indoor exhibitions and a large outdoor area.

Even though this year’s political and economical situation in Italy has probably worsened since last year, Micro Salon Italia was a total success with over 4,000 visitors between March 7th and 8th.

Students from Italy’s Cinema Schools attended: Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Istituto Roberto Rossellini and NUCT. Cinematographers, producers, directors, camera operators, assistants, gaffers, grips, and television crews looked at the new gear displayed in 42 booths. They met top Cinematographers like Vittorio Storaro, Giuseppe Rotunno, Luciano Tovoli, Gianni Mammolotti, Romano Albani, Giuseppe Pinori, Adolfo Bartoli, Paolo Rossato, Vincenzo Condorelli and many other AIC members.

Among the new announcements at Cinecittà Studios, ARRI had the Amira in its final form – as it will be shown at NAB 2014. ARRI also showed the Alexa, Zeiss zooms, CP.2 primes, L7 lights and the new Duppy LED studio diffuser. K5600 showed the new Alpha 9-6 kW with a 450mm fresnel lens; CANON had the Cinema EOS 1D X and XF 305 – XFA25, C500, C300 & C100, the Legria mini X, lenses etc.

Panalight displayed the Alexa XT full frame, Red Dragon Carbon Fiber and a full set of new Panavision Primo V series lenses, specifically designed for 35mm digital cinema cameras and the PVintage series, plus Leica’s Summilux, ZEISS Master Anamorphics, and Angénieux’s 48-580 T4 Anamorphic. Outdoors was Panalight’s helicopter with remote heads and Scorpio Arm truck and OB van, Hydroflex blimps. D-Vision / Movie People had a Russian Arm, brand new generator truck with Daylight fresnels, a crane and their MovieFly Octodrones. DBW had a new generation Moviedrone that flew around demostrating its versitality with a SONY F55 4K.

Daniele Nannuzzi, AIC President (Associazione Italiana Autori della Fotografia Cinematografica, Association of Italian Cinematographers) told FDTimes: “We are proud of this extremely successful show and of the number of visitors this year… incredibly, AIC’s Micro Salon Italia welcomed 1,500 more visitors than the original Micro Salon in Paris this year…”

AFC Vice-President Richard Andry, from Paris for the Roman opening, congratulated Daniele Nannuzzi, Davide Mancori and Simone Marra for their great effort in making this Micro Salon Italia an outstanding event. Attendees and exhibitors alike agreed it was an extremely productive show that should stay on the stage of European Cinematography events.

Various presentations and seminars were held at the AIC museum that houses a staggering array of cameras, lenses, lights and tripods. In this lofty atmosphere one could not fail to feel totally inspired by the history and craftsmanship that Italian Cinematographers have tirelessly created to achieve with their images.

The SONY seminar was on 4K, Movie People’s presented the Russian Arm, ARRI the Amira, Trans Audio Video was on CANON, ADCOM and BLUTEK broadcast products, Mike Wagner on ARRI LED technology and TIFFEN’s filter expert Carey Duffy presented his 34 minute video on TIFFEN’s diffusion filters shot in 4K, designed to embellish digital capture formats with a tool that cinematographers have used since time began–Glass!

Carey Duffy, who loves Rome, told FDTimes “The passion for Cinematography was in the air and in this hive of activity. Attendee’s strolled around viewing and questioning exhibitors about their products…and if one wanted to be more adventurous, a stroll around the studios was a must. Behind the exhibits lay an equally magnificent studio complex boasting magnificent open air back lot sets that include the Roman Forum, Italian Medieval Assisi and turn of the century Broadway streets. Not forgetting the eerily recently vacated back lot set of Universal’s blockbuster feature film “Everest” directed by Baltasar Kormàkur, with Sal Totino, ASC as cinematographer, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin.”

On Saturday afternoon at Cinecittà Studios’ packed Sala Fellini, Vittorio Storaro, AIC, ASC, flanked by his co-authors Luciano Tovoli, AIC, ASC and Daniele Nannuzzi AIC, presented his latest book “Art of Cinematography” giving a watchful audience an idea of the Storaro meaning for “…a great visual experience…a tribute to 150 Cinematographers from Cinematographers…that underscores the fundamental place of the Cinematographer in the creation of the Seventh Art.”

The presentation was followed by Visual Effects samplers made by art director and VFX supervisor Greg Strasz for films like “Anonymous, “2012”, “White House down” and “The Rich”.

Just before the closing ceremony party buffet, 91 year old Giuseppe Rotunno, the famed Cinematographer of Luchino Visconti and Federico Fellini was presented an AIC Honorary Membership Award. As a nugget, Rotunno screened an unreleased short film, directed by his wife Graziolina Campori in 1950, his first work as a Cinematographer.

Suggestion for Micro Salon Italia 2015: AIC should provide personal badges with name, profession, or company. This would be a good way to meet new colleagues and would also help exhibitors, in consideration of the number of young people in the industry.

Rome, March 2014. JLG

Flickr Slideshow and Gallery:


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Lentequip USB Charger for iPhones


…And not just iPhones. How many times are we on set, desperately running low on power for iPhone, iPad, camera, GoPro, RED Remote—all those essential gadgets that charge with a USB cable?

But we’re surrounded by camera batteries. If only we could plug into one of them.

Lentequip’s iOS compatible USB charger connects to any 8-32 Volt DC power source and will output regulated 5 Volt DC  with a maximum current of 2 Amps. This means a quick charge.

There are two models. You can order a version that plugs into the P-Tap outlet on your battery, or a version for a  3-pin Fischer ARRI-style RS accessory connector. The input of the charger is protected with a fuse. The output is both short-circuit protected and also incorporates a safety clamping circuit to ensure that your devices remain safe. A green LED indicates that the output voltage is present. The indicator can be seen through the translucent enclosure, which measures only 60 x 35 x 15 mm (LWH).  The cable is 20 cm long.

Get prices and more information about various versions online. 


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Micro Salon Paris 2014 Slideshow

It’s like Cine Gear in French, with fine food, flowing champagne, new equipment, and some gear we don’t usually see elsewhere. The 14th annual AFC Micro Salon resumed at La Femis Film School on Friday and Saturday February 7-8, 2014.

Article by Jean-Noël Ferragut, AFC, et Vincent Jeannot, AFC.

Photos by Pauline Maillet for Angénieux.

And here are 119 FDTimes pictures. Click on the first one to begin the slideshow.


Aaton Cantar-X3


Aaton’s eagerly anticipated new Cantar-X3 audio recorder premiered in prototype at the AFC Micro Salon in Paris.

This successor to the Cantar-X2 has a new GUI and display designed by Transvideo. It promises more inputs and tracks, has a water resistant and dust proof housing, and color-coded controls.

Pre-orders begin after NAB2014 for delivery later this year.

(Aaton is now Aaton Digital, and was acquired by Transvideo last year.)





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Half a Summilux-C at Westlicht

30192_2 Summilux-C

Not yet a Leica Summilux-C cine lens owner?  Now you can get a cherished Summilux-C 100 mm T1.4 lens at a drastically reduced price. Well…er…half a Summilux-C lens. Place your bid at Westlicht Photographica Auctions for this cutaway model. Looking for a new look more outrageous than irreversibly sandblasting precious coatings off the fronts of your pristine lenses (may void warranty)? If you can stuff this factory cutaway into your PL mount and cover void with Blackwrap and black camera tape…well, let me know how it looks.

Look for Catalog number 217 under Leica Special Editions. Bids begin at € 1500 and you can place your bid online. Here’s the full description:

217. Summilux-C 1.4/100mm Cut-Away

Factory cut-away on Leica stand. The Leica Summilux-C lenses are a revolutionary new line of PL mount primes designed to deliver ultra-high optical performance for film and digital capture. These new T1.4 close focus primes use a unique multi-aspheric design and high-precision cine lens mechanics to provide unparalleled flat field illumination across the entire 35mm frame and suppression of colour fringing in the farthest corners of the frame with no detectable breathing.


If you want to set your sights higher, the  NASA Hasselblad 500 EL DATA CAMERA HEDC used by astronaut Jim Irwin for 3 days on the moon is also being auctioned. Do I hear € 200,000?


There’s much more: a wooden Ernemann, Arriflex S, lots of Leicas–you can download the full PDF catalog from Westlicht.



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RED Dragons in Paris

RVZ Rentals in Paris had their new RED Carbon Fiber Dragons at the AFC Micro Salon the other day. One was dangling from a MoVi and fitted with Leica Summicron-C primes (they cover the >34mm 6K image circle).

DSC01359-FDTimes DSC01358-FDTimes


Back at the RVZ shop, Samuel Renollet showed the Dragon with Leica mount and his Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.0 Still Camera Lens.





Back at the Micro Salon, other RED camera/lens configurations–below with Angenieux Optimo 45-120 T2.8 zoom and RED-WMD (Wireless Motor Driver)…

DSC01561-FDTimes DSC01560-FDTimes



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Vantage Expands


Peter Märtin and Wolfgang Bäumler in Paris

Vantage, the worldwide camera equipment rental house — as well as designer and manufacturer of Hawk Anamorphic Lenses — is growing rapidly. They are simultaneously expanding their Prague, Paris, and Berlin branches, as well as headquarters in Weiden.  Each expansion will add much needed space for current and future growth,  providing customers with even more spacious, state-of-the-art camera check-out areas and facilities.

We visited the under-construction Paris facilities 2 weeks ago, and caught up with Peter Märtin and Wolfgang Bäumler, Executive Directors, at Micro Salon in Paris on Feb 8. Peter said, “Our products and our service are world class, and our expansion allows us to continue that tradition wherever our customers need us.”




Expansion in Paris: before and after

Paris is Vantage’s newest location and is situated in the northern media district, La Plaine St. Denis, with customer on-site parking and large loading docks. The loft-style building is light, spacious, and comfortable. Although the French office has only been open since 2011, Vantage’s success in this market required facility expansion. Alexander Bscheidl, Vantage’s Paris Director, said, “Space is golden, and our current renovation project doubles that space. The first project we supported in Paris was Taken 2, starring Liam Neeson. At that time, the crew was extremely happy with our testing facilities. Now, two years later, the first project that will use our newest space is the crew for Taken 3. It is funny how things sometimes come full circle.”

The addition increases the number of camera prep bays to 15 and adds a 130 square meter studio for product shots and costume, hair, and make-up tests. This provides the Paris office the capacity to support large feature films while reducing logistical challenges and saving customers time and money.  These renovations are being overseen by Alexander Bscheidl and will be completed by April. His goal is to provide customers with the best possible facilities to make every visit a pleasant one. And the industrial size expresso machine is awesome.



Alexander Bscheidl: “The new addition will double the current size of the facility by adding 600 square meters and transforms this location into an ideal camera equipment rental house for commercials and feature films in France.”



Vantage has been serving the film community in Prague for 20 years. Its location in the heart of the city provides easy access to the historical district, parking, and loading. It has been praised by many Cinematographers who would rather enjoy the city than spend hours driving through traffic to test equipment.  Jindřich Čipera, the long-time Director of Vantage’s Prague office said, “Vantage’s decision to stay near the city center is the right one, and our recent upgrades greatly enhance the services we provide.” The addition centers on the creation of 3 new prep bays that provide crews with plenty of room for testing in a comfortable, modern environment. Some of the more interesting details include the installation of skylights and the removal of walls to create a lighter overall feeling that is seamlessly integrated into the current space. The renovations will be completed in April.


Jindřich Čipera: “It would have been easier to relocate, but the move would have forced us further away from the center, so we took the more difficult route of enlarging our current location in order to continue to provide our customers with a convenient location that gives them fast and efficient service.”



Andreas Teichner, the Senior Director at Vantage, project designer and coordinator for Berlin said, “Now that we are well established in both Prague and Paris, we have turned our attention to Berlin and the film renaissance taking place here. More and more international feature films and commercial productions are based in Berlin, and these are the types of projects where Vantage excels. We knew we had to increase our footprint in Berlin as demand has grown, and the only way to do it right is to move to a new location and increase our staff. That is exactly what we are doing.” The historical building is being specially tailored to meet Vantage’s needs in Berlin and provide a state-of-the-art facility with plenty of room for equipment and personnel. It has great direct access into the city and highways, lots of parking, and easy loading and unloading opportunities. According to Teichner, the renovations comprise a 4-times increase in size, add multiple prep bays, provide gorgeous facilities, and have wonderful amenities customers deserve. The exact location will be announced shortly, and the move should be completed sometime in May.


Andreas Teichner: “When we saw the building, it was love at first sight. It is simply perfect.”



Vantage’s world headquarters and design atelier is located in Weiden, Germany. Every day is busy as guest cinematographers test the latest equipment, developers put the prototypes through their paces, and lenses are assembled with care and precision.  The spirit of the company is palpable in the buzz.Peter Märtin said, “Our products and services dovetail with the needs of customers. Change is consistent, and we need to be both nimble enough to react to it and strong enough to influence it.”

The company expanded operations in Weiden in 2001 and again in 2009, adapting and growing with demand. This cutting-edge facility is expanding once again with the addition of a brand new, two-story building that will house the Executive Administrative staff, Worldwide Accounting Office, and several Research and Development Offices. The new building directly connects to the recently expanded manufacturing section, which doubled in size in 2013. That previous renovation saw the installation of a state-of-the-art manufacturing center for the newly developed, patent-pending filter technology used to make Vantage Bethke-Effect, Vantage Blue-Vision EXP, and Vantage White-Vision EXP filters. The new addition will also provide crews prepping in Weiden with a new area that is roomy and quiet. It will also give crews more privacy by providing access to a different street away from main entrance.  This modern building will be finished in September.

Wolfgang Bäumler said, “Our new, larger R & D offices located near manufacturing give us the ability to move our ideas from the drawing board to production in an extremely efficient manner, allowing us to react quickly to market demand. We bring together the highly technical and complicated aspects of lenses and combine them with the aesthetic qualities every cinematographer wants. We listen to our customers’ wishes and needs, and our efforts are driven by their dreams.”  

The physical expansions are only part of the story. By September, ten new job positions will be posted as well.

All of these exciting new developments document the smooth, continuous expansion that Vantage is seeing in multiple markets.  When asked if any other plans were in the wings, Peter Märtin replied, “We are just getting started.”





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Panasonic 4K 35mm VariCam


Panasonic held a pre-NAB press conference today in New York. Although a nuts and bolts camera was not handed around, we were enticed with this image of a 35mm 4K VariCam that will be shown at NAB 2014.

Steve Cooperman, Product Manager, outlined some of the main features:

  • 35mm MOS sensor
  • PL mount
  • Dockable / detachable recorder can be tethered by cable to body or attached.
  • Records in a number of formats– including 4K, UHD, 2K and HD.
  • AVC-ULTRA codecs for 4K
  • Handles 4K RAW — not sure if this is internal or output.
  • 4096 x 2160 (17:9) 4K image capture
  • 14+ stops of exposure latitude
  • shoots up to 120 fps
  • OLED viewfinder with optical eyepiece magnification
  • Uses Panasonic’s new expressP2 card for high frame rate recording.
  • Camera has 4 card slots, for two expressP2 cards and two for microP2 cards.

The 35mm 4K VariCam models will launch in Fall 2014. Price was not given.

Prototypes of this camera were seen at IBC and InterBEE 2013 under glass:




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Canon C300 AF Upgrade


First Canon introduced CMOS dual pixel phase-detection autofocus on its EOS 70D Digital SLR camera. Then it was announced as an upgrade for the C100. Now, continuous autofocus will be available as an upgrade on the EOS C300 with Canon autofocus lenses.

Dual Pixel CMOS AF works like this. All the available imaging pixels work both for imaging and phase-detection at the same time. Each pixel is made up of two photodiodes whose outputs are continuously compared. If there’s a phase difference, circuitry smoothly corrects to keep the image in focus. Of course, you need to use a Canon autofocus lens in auto mode, and tracking is done in the center of the frame. (20% of vertical and 25% of horizontal area.) This can be helpful when operating as a one-person band, running and gunning, for documentaries and probably wildlife wild hippo charging toward camera shots.

Canon says, “The Dual Pixel CMOS AF upgrade for the C300 camera supports continuous AF with all compatible Canon EF series lenses when shooting subjects positioned in the center of the imaging area. The technology involves complementary use of a contrast signal to achieve advanced autofocus stability that helps reduce the occurrence of loss of focus on a subject. Also included is an AF Lock which allows users to lock a focus point once AF is achieved and recompose the shot.  Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF also nearly doubles the speed of the EOS C300 Cinema camera’s One-Shot AF function, which enables a DP to focus on a subject located at the center of the screen with the push of a button, a feature that is currently supported on 104 Canon EF lens models.”

An upgraded C300 camera’s menu will have two options for “AF Mode” – One-Shot AF and Continuous Autofocus. The AF Lock can be assigned to one the camera’s buttons. Press the button to lock the focus, preventing the camera from refocusing, and then press it again when you want to return to continuous AF. It’s indicated by a white frame that turns gray when you push AF Lock.

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF feature upgrade for the EOS C300 Cinema camera will be made available to users through an authorized Canon service center for a cost of around $500. For more information:



Look: Cooke Anamorphic 40 mm


Prototype Cooke Anamorphic 40 mm at T2.8. Photo by Jon Fauer of Cooke Optics Chairman Les Zellan taken at Micro Salon on Sony A7R with MTF PL to E-mount adapter. The beard is sharp, the skin tones are smooth, and there is remarkably no internal barrel flare from the desperately overexposed window. The shadow area retains detail. The pitch black area at far right remains black. Anamorphically funky and nice!

De-squeezed with Photoshop. Click on images for larger view.


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